Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services reminds residents to plan for their pets, including large animals such as horses, in hurricane plans and preparations.

Dog and cat owners should prepare a pet survival kit in a waterproof container that includes enough food, water and kitty litter (for a cat) for at least two weeks. Vaccinations and registration must be up to date and the animal has to wear its Sarasota County license tag on a secure collar.

If plans include evacuating to a pet friendly shelter, remember only dogs and cats are allowed. The pet survival kit, license tag and collars are required to stay there. The license will also enable Animal Services to identify the pet if it gets lost in the storm.

Owners of large animals in particular should make plans prior to the announcement of a storm. Teach horses to load into a trailer well before it is necessary to do so. Store enough food, water and hay for at least two weeks and outfit the horse with a leather or breakaway halter with the owner’s name, address and phone number. Plastic livestock identification bands can also be obtained. Microchipping is recommended and can help with proof of ownership. Evacuees must have a current negative Coggins test available and proof of up to date vaccinations, as stables require proper documentation.

For more information on pet and large animal preparedness contact Animal Services at 941.861.9500 or find them on under “Public Interest.”